The North Carolina Community Foundation is a nonprofit created in 1988 to encourage philanthropy throughout our state, with a special focus on rural and underserved areas. As the only statewide community foundation in North Carolina, we support a network of affiliates that serves 67 counties. NCCF also works with individuals, families, corporations, private foundations and nonprofits to build endowments. These funds are permanent investments in our communities, providing resources that meet critical needs to improve quality of life in countless ways – now and in the future. NCCF currently administers more than 1,200 funds established to support a broad range of our donors’ philanthropic goals, including community needs, nonprofit organizations and scholarships.
Scholarship opportunities through the NCCF are rich and diverse. NCCF does not operate a general scholarship fund, but we administer a growing family of about 150 scholarship funds, each with its own criteria established by the founding donor and its own selection committee committed to honoring that donor’s intent. We award over half a million dollars in scholarships annually to more than 300 North Carolina students who attend institutions of higher learning all over the country. In recent years, we have become particularly interested in our scholars who are the first in their families to attend college. Each year, approximately one-third of NCCF scholars are first-generation college students.
In our efforts to learn more about NCCF’s first-generation scholars, we implemented a special initiative, asking them to send us a video to tell us about their experiences. We were thrilled with the responses we received! NCCF’s first-generation scholars are an inspiring group of young people with plenty to offer us as guidance for our future focus on these students. They are motivated to influence younger generations as well, providing words of encouragement for them to follow in their pioneering footsteps. We look forward to continuing to develop special programs to engage and support them and would welcome conversations from other NSPA members who might also be interested in first-generation scholars!